I have these two clusters of raised white bumps on the back of my tongue. Just uncomfortable. Any ideas? Also have a bunch of tiny red bumps all over tongue.
Person's Gender: Male
Person's Age: 25
Regiment of brushing with a flouride toothpaste and rinsing with mouthwash
Welcome, and thank you for putting your trust in me!Your picture displays an appearance characteristic of a condition known as "hairy tongue". This is a result of the normal exfoliative process of surface epithelial tissue failing to keep up with the growth of new epithelium, leading to an elongation of the numerous "filiform papillae" that cover the upper surface of the tongue. Anything that shifts this balance of exfoliation versus new epithelial growth can lead to this condition, which is unsightly but otherwise benign and harmless. For example, using peroxide-based or other oxygenating mouthwashes acts as a stimulant to epithelial growth. Conversely, diminished motor function of the mouth due to neuromuscular impairment, or diminished salivary flow from medication or salivary gland disease, will slow the clearance of exfoliated surface cells.The red bumps over the dorsum of the tongue are the fungiform papillae, which are normal anatomic features of the tongue. They may appear more conspicuous due to their contrasting color against the whitish coating.
Management of hairy tongue entails avoidance of the factors that give rise to it (e.g., if using a mouthwash, it should be discontinued; if there is dry mouth, the cause for salivary impairment should be addressed), along with tongue brushing or scraping. This last strategy is not always practical, because affected areas are usually sensitive trigger points for the gagging reflex, so they often cannot be adequately cleaned in this way.
I am assuming for the purpose of my answer that there are no other symptoms that have emerged at roughly the same time. If there is fever, rash, and other symptoms of illness, scarlatina should be considered as a diagnosis, as this sometimes manifests with "strawberry tongue", which is also consistent with this type of presenting appearance. In this case, you should consult promptly with a medical doctor for antibiotic therapy.Hope this helps...
35 years experience, member Academy of General Dentistry